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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 22 January, 2020

Teenager who was 26 weeks pregnant thought she 'was getting chubby' before giving birth in kitchen

Milaois Murphy believed she had appendicitis on the night her daughter Harper was born.

Malois Murphy, James Mulligan and baby Harper
Malois Murphy, James Mulligan and baby Harper
Image: RTÉ

A YOUNG MOTHER who was unaware she was 26 weeks pregnant has revealed how she thought she was “just getting chubby” in the weeks before she gave birth.

Milaois Murphy, 18, whose story will be broadcast on tonight’s episode of ‘The Rotunda’ on RTÉ2, believed she had appendicitis on the night her daughter was born.

But as she waited with her mother Victoria for an ambulance to take her to hospital with stomach pains, the teenager’s waters broke at her Dublin home.

“I wasn’t fat, fat. I had no bump, I was just getting chubby … I’d fall asleep and then I’d jump again with the pain,” Murphy said.

“I had back pain and I couldn’t sleep at night but that was my only symptom.

“The baby could have been kicking but I didn’t know because I never had a baby, and I thought it could be wind or something.”

However after she spent one night vomiting, her mother called the Mater Hospital at around 3am and her waters broke minutes later.

As she sat on her kitchen floor, her daughter Harper – who is now five months old – was born prematurely at 26 weeks, weighing just 1lb.

However, she initially stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated by Murphy’s mother before the ambulance arrived.


Both mother and baby were taken to the Rotunda Hospital, where Harper arrived with no heart rate and remained in intensive care for five months.

However, she has since responded well to treatment and has undergone a number of surgeries.

At first, Murphy says was completely unaware about what had happened.

“I was so numb with the shock that it didn’t click with me until the next morning that I had a baby,” she said.

“Then I went up and I saw her and the mother instinct immediately kicked in. Then I rang her father and we went up and picked her name.”

Harper’s father James Mulligan says he couldn’t wait to visit the hospital to hold his daughter.

“It’s crazy how happy she can make you,” he said. “She is such a strong baby.”

Milaois now plans to return to school to complete her Leaving Certificate in the coming year while caring for her daughter.

The Rotunda airs on RTÉ2 tonight at 9.30pm.

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